A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House by Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) called the “Surveillance State Repeal Act” and if passed, would repeal the 2001 Patriot Act and dramatically restructure the FISA Court.
We’re not big fans of the Patriot Act or the National Security Agency, but this bill brings this image to mind.
It will be interesting to see if the bill is even brought before the committee for debate, we don’t expect to see it on the House floor for debate.
What the Reps are proposing looks like this.
The bill would legally dismantle the National Security Agency’s most aggressive surveillance programs, including the bulk collection and retention of virtually all Americans’ landline phone records justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The repeal of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act would also prevent the agency from tapping the physical infrastructure of the Internet…
We will encourage our conservative Republican Rep to support the bill. We don’t expect him to. We’re pretty sure this will die a quiet death in committee because when the government takes, it doesn’t give back unless it’s forced to and pretty much nobody is forcing.
Our best result would be to have the Patriot Act challenged and have the Supremes declare it unconstitutional. Don’t expect that to happen either.
There is one wrinkle out there for Patriot Act supporters though.
Without regard to this particular bill some key provisions of the Patriot Act will expire on June 1. There are no proposals on the table to reauthorize those provisions or modify them.
Certainly the Republican Establishment will side with Barack Obama on reauthorizing the Patriot Act without limiting the government’s powers under the Act. We feel like some modifications will be made because the NSA is not real popular in the US, but they’ll likely be on the margins as opposed to a complete rewrite.
May will be an interesting month for civil liberties.
House Revives Bill To Completely Repeal The Patriot Act, Dismantle NSA Spying
Some of the strongest reforms to the U.S. national security apparatus ever introduced in Congress were revived Tuesday by a pair of congressmen in the House of Representatives.
Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan and Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie announced in a press release their intention to reintroduce the Surveillance State Repeal Act — a bill first introduced following the Snowden leaks in 2013 that would completely repeal the Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, as well as introduce reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
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